Thursday, 11 September 2014

Guest Post: Mary Galloway

How do I find fulfilment in life, outside of acting?

I think it's important to feel fulfilled as an actor first, and then I can branch out to the many other spokes my life consists of on a daily basis to seek balance and fulfillment. Scary. Yes. But do-able. So then, how do I fulfil myself as an actor? There's probably never an end point to feeling fulfilled and to be able to check it off the list, so to speak. So, I think it's more about feeling comfortable with where I am at, and being able to say "I have done my work, and I will continue doing my best. Whatever the results may be in the end, I know I am where I am supposed to be." And to feel at ease with the fact that there is nothing else I'd rather dedicate my professional life to, and I am blessed to be able to do it! I know lots of people are not as fortunate as me to be in a position that allows them to pursue their wildest dreams on a daily basis. Ten years ago I never would have imagined I'd be getting paid to act in-- get this-- professional movies and TV show!. Mind blown. I am sure someone in my little home town is saying, "That quiet little girl is an actor now?! Huh? How did that happen?" So that alone gives me a huge dose of fulfilment. Have I reached a point in my career that I can sustain myself solely on acting? No. But that is okay. Because at the end of the day, I know I am doing everything I can do to be able to answer yes to that question somewhere down the line. Not so scary anymore is it? 

Next: life outside of acting. And that is a must. When I was immersing myself entirely in my acting career it became too overwhelming, obsessive, and depressing. There are way too many things out of my control, and putting my undivided attention on this industry was draining, and unsatisfying. I find working a part-time, non-acting job helps me in getting my butt in gear, because I have a limited amount of time in the day to get things done. Turns out, days when I am required at work, are days I when get stuff done. Days I have off, I imagine that I'll go to the gym, work on a monologue, write a script, clean the house, cook a delicious meal, and take the dog on a long walk…but that usually stays a figment of my imagination. So I stopped shying away from other work. Even when I can say that I financially support myself with acting, I'll still have some other side job that I enjoy doing. As long as you can find a job that will allow you to step out for an audition or a gig, then I can only see it benefitting you.
In the list of side jobs I have attempted, I have found that I prefer nannying. Every family has a backup plan if the nanny, or babysitter, bails. And I am lucky enough to work with families who are in the industry - so they really do understand when an audition comes up, and they either call another person for the job or I bring the kids to an audition and work it out that way. Since these moms and dads bring them to auditions all the time, their kids already know it is quiet time when they are in the waiting room. Career on track—check! Day job—check! …What's next?

Personal relationships. And I am talking about three different types: friendships, having a relationship with a significant other, and of course, with thy self (cue holy choir because of my shameless use of the word thy). I'd say you have to feel comfortable with who you are first and then you can focus on making relationships with others work. Figure out what you stand for, and fight for it! Figure out ways to support things you believe in. Right now I am very passionate about advocating for better representation of females in film and TV. It's sparked something in me, and was always on my mind when watching movies and TV shows. Currently, I am co-writing a feature film called Down Beat about two young female beat cops. 

They don't mention a love interest once in the entire film. They are focused on their careers and solving the Highway of Tears case. I am writing a movie to better represent woman in everyday life, and I am hoping to raise awareness to the hundreds of missing woman that disappear off the Highway of Tears. So there are two things I am fighting for. And it feels great! There are so many things that need help in this world and I truly do believe that everyone has a responsibility to contribute in making it better in some way, shape, or form. So pick one, and go with it. You'll feel amazing. Another aspect to finding self-happiness is getting training. Learn. Expand your brain and body. Push yourself, set goals and work towards them. And then once you reach them, set some more. Continually grow your mind, body and soul. Then, once you are comfortable in your own skin and brain, you can branch out to connecting with other people on an intimate level. Make true friendships and courtships and grow them. What can you bring to a relationship? Become a good listener. And find someone who can return the favor. Having a strong relationship - whether it be romantic or platonic is one of the most satisfying things. And you will find fulfilment in one or two close relationships very quickly, as opposed to trying to get a ton of so-so ones and not knowing those people up close and personal.

Well, there you have it: My Basic Guidelines to Finding Fulfilment. I hope whoever reads this can take something from it and grow from it. I know writing it has helped me solidify my thoughts on the topic. And thank you very much for having me Ms.Hastings, it was a pleasure!


Supernatural actress, Mary Galloway, talks artistic fulfilment with Ginger Soup for the Actor's SoulMary Galloway is a Vancouver actor, and has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including a noteworthy spot on the CW's Supernatural. As well as keeping busy acting in local independent films and more, Mary spends her time writing screenplays (see: Down Beat), advocating for a fair voice for women in film and television, and being a role model for First Nations girls. 
Find her at:
Twitter:       @MissMaryGalloway 
Instagram   @MissMaryGalloway